A new chapel will open its doors to members of the public later this month as part of a development on Darlington Crematorium.

The chapel, opening on Monday, April 24, is located on the grounds of Darlington’s West Cemetery on Carmel Road North and will accommodate users of any faith or religion.

Also built from the project is a new car park, accessible toilets and tribute screens in the chapel that is able to seat up to 120 mourners.

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Ian Thompson, Assistant Director for community services, said: “This has been a long project to create new, modern facilities in the historic cemetery, which it was important to complete without disturbing the peace of the cemetery or interrupting services.

“The upgraded chapel offers more space for people attending services and up to date equipment for funeral directors.”

Alongside the construction of the new chapel, a similar project was launched to refurbish the existing crematorium to include space for cremators and equipment while measures were put in place that saw other funeral services go head.

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The cemetary holds much significance in the town historically, being the final resting place for hundreds including James Piggott Pricthett, arhitect of buildings inlcuding Darlington Trainee College.

Also buried there is Francis Mewburn, the worlds first railway solicitor and the legal brains behind the Stockton and Darlington railway.

Now work is complete, Darlington Borough Council have confirmed that alongside this new development, the Victorian West Cemetary Chapel will remain in use for services prior to burial services.